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OUR TEAM

A cornerstone of investment consulting is the recognition that everyone’s economic situation is unique.
Personalized service is essential.

Brian Whinnery, NQPA

President

 (612) 373-9865
(612) 232-0973

Brian is the President of Hays Financial Group and involved in all phases of the employee benefits organization. His goal is to tackle big problems to find transformative solutions. He has been recognized as one the “2017 Top Retirement Plan Advisers Under 40” by industry peers and the NAPA member committee.* The University of St. Thomas alum began his career at the CPA firm Virchow Krause & Company before moving to RBC Wealth Management and ultimately Hays Companies. Naturally, three years of minor league baseball with the St. Paul Saints was a perfect complement to his expertise in retirement plan design and investment management. To better serve the needs of his clients Brian holds his series 7 through LPL Financial, Series 66 through Hays Financial Group and LPL Financial, and he is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary. Brian was also recognized as one of the top 401 Retirement Advisors by the Financial Times in 2015**. Brian and his wife live in Minneapolis with their three young children.

*Nominated and voted on by industry peers and selected by a NAPA member committee based on business profile and future industry leadership potential. 

**Awarded to financial advisors advising at least $50 million in defined contribution (DC) plan assets where DC plans represent at least 20% of total AUM.  Graded on several criteria, including growth in DC plans and assets, plan participation rates, experience and industry certifications, and compliance record.

Jim Miley, CIMA®

Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer

 (612) 373-9863
 (612) 597-8367
 (612) 373-7270
jmiley@haysfinancialgroup.com

Jim is a Managing Director and member of the investment committee and focuses on operational efficiencies. Jim provides customized client-centric strategies to committee’s and pre-retirees. Prior to moving to Hays Financial Group in 2017, Jim worked with Brian at RBC Wealth Management in Minneapolis where he served clients since 2010. Jim was recognized as one of NAPA’s 2019 Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisors under 40; otherwise known as “Young Guns”.* Hays Financial Group was also to the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) top 100 Defined Contribution Advisor Teams.** Jim attended Concordia University – Saint Paul where he earned a Bachelor in Business Administration and was a team captain of the football team, where he first met his colleague Dan O’Brien. Jim obtained the Certified Investment Management Analyst® designation from the Investments & Wealth Institute to better serve his clients complex financial needs. Jim and his wife Katie have four children and live in Saint Paul, MN.

* More info can be found here: https://www.napa-net.org/industry-lists/young-guns/

** More info can be found here:  https://www.napa-net.org/industry-lists/top-dc-advisor-teams/

Dan Armstrong

Managing Director & Executive Vice President

(612) 373-9870
(952) 221-1272

Dan is a Managing Director and Executive Vice President for Hays, focusing on Business Development. His goal is to build trusting relationships across the country with Hays partners and clients. Prior to moving to Hays Financial Group in 2022, Dan spent 18 years at Empower Retirement, 15 of those as a Sales Director. He has been recognized as one of the industry’s top Wholesalers, winning 18 annual awards at Empower, including being named the Sales Director of the Year 7 times. Complementing his practice, Dan holds the series 6, 63 and Life/Health designations. Dan attended the University of Colorado – Boulder where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance. Dan and his wife Haley live in Minneapolis with their 3 young children – Regan, Sydney, and Reed.

Anna Kraemer, CPFA™, AIF®

Senior Relationship Manager

(612) 758-8489
 akraemer@haysfinancialgroup.com

Anna helps employer groups establish and maintain state of the art retirement plan programs by focusing on creative and flexible solutions. Anna helps clients and their investment committees understand and fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities, while reducing their liability and helping employees prepare for retirement. Anna graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Finance. Prior to joining Hays, Anna worked at RBC Capital Markets where she focused on their institutional consulting and retirement services platforms. Anna is series 7 and 66 securities licensed, is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary, and holds the Certified Health Savings Advisor designation. Anna lives in Stillwater, MN with her husband and two young daughters.

Suzanne Mahowald

Vice President

(952) 250-1167

Suzanne joined Hays in 2020 and has been in the retirement consulting industry since 2010. She currently works on the retirement team, providing ongoing and specialty project support for client relationships. In addition to general fiduciary oversight, she assists plan sponsors with plan design analysis and benchmarking, vendor management, investment lineup construction, and fee benchmarking reviews. Additionally, she works with plan sponsors and service providers on vendor searches, plan merger and acquisition support, and other various projects as needed. Suzanne participates in industry-wide conferences to remain current on trends, best practices, and regulatory updates.

Before joining Hays, Suzanne was a Principal at Mercer, and prior to that a consultant at CAPTRUST. In both of her previous roles, she provided investment and plan design consulting services for plan sponsors, and supported communication and education efforts for their employees.

Suzanne received her Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Grace Ginther

Retirement Plan Consultant


gginther@haysfinancial.com

Grace joined Hays Financial Group at the start of 2022. Working as a Retirement Plan Consultant, she supports the Senior Consultants in managing relationships with internal partners, clients, and vendors. In addition, she evaluates and ensures retirement plans are administered effectively. Prior to joining Hays Financial Group, Grace attended the University of St. Thomas where she majored in Entrepreneurship. Grace lives with her family in Minnetonka, MN..

Greg Klein, ARPC, CPFA™

Vice President

Greg is dedicated to every aspect of client management with a primary focus on employee education. He is fluent in Spanish and has lived in three different Latin American countries. He takes pride in being able to help all types of employees achieve retirement success. Greg has spent more than a decade in the retirement plan industry most of it with Hays. He also worked at Wells Fargo Institutional Trust Services and Sentry Insurance. He holds the Accredited Retirement Plan Consultant and Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor designations. Greg completed his undergraduate studies in international business at St. Cloud State University and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University. He and his wife live together in Minneapolis.

Kathryne Connell

Manager of Tax and Finance

(612) 347-8362
kconnell@haysfinancial.com

Kathryne oversees the preparation of financial reporting and manages the process for forecasting, budgeting, and tax filings.  In addition, she has a role in long-term business and financial planning.  Kathryne graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in Accounting, and was an active member of the Accounting Club there, growing her network within the Twin Cities area.  Before joining the Hays team, Kathryne started her career at Deloitte Tax, working in the Private Wealth space.  Kathryne lives in Hopkins, MN and enjoys spending time up north, volunteering, and playing sports in her spare time.

Dan O’Brien

Vice President of Participant Engagement

(612) 373-7254

A life-long coach, Dan joined Hays Financial Group in 2021. He is committed to client engagement and improving the retirement readiness of clients. Dan has been a successful coach on and off the football field at the high school and college level, as a member of the University of Minnesota staff under Jerry Kill, and executive at SunCountry Airlines. Dan is currently the Head Football Coach at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, MN. Dan and his family live in Mendota Heights, MN.